Death Watch 2016

Candidates who could (and should!) drop out of GOP race

We all knew 17 was way too many, and now, they’re starting to drop like flies.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker bailed from the Republican presidential nomination race on Monday, with his poll numbers in the basement and his flow of campaign cash dried up. He follows former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who bailed early this month (even the smart new glasses he donned couldn’t help him).

So, Death Watch is officially underway. Who will be next? LifeZette ranks the walking GOP dead men, in order of who could (and definitely who should) drop out next:

Jim Gilmore
He doesn’t even appear on the RealClearPolitics average of all polls, and he wasn’t at the most recent GOP debate, so low are his numbers.

But the former Virginia governor did spend the evening sending out sad little tweets and, we’re guessing, sipping on chardonnay (not a Happy Gilmore). It was unclear why he even entered the race, unless he was just looking to get some headlines in an effort to secure a cabinet position.

But will the next president even have a Secretary of Who IS That Guy?

George Pataki
He, too, doesn’t make the RCP average. In last week’s undercard debate, with just four wannabes, the only kind thing one could say about the former New York governor’s performance is that he was the tallest on the stage.

Still, plenty of people were happy to see him — just to know that he’s still alive. But there’s nowhere to go but down from him, if that’s possible. A moderate politician who is pro-choice is just not going to fly this time around in the GOP race.

Perhaps he could take over Bob Dole’s role as spokesman for Viagra.

Sen. Lindsey Graham
The John McCain protegé currently registers a 0.0 on the RCP average. Sure, there’s nowhere to go but up from there, but Graham doesn’t even appear to be serious (in the most recent debate, he said of his campaign platform: “That’s the first thing I’m going to do as president: We’re going to drink more.”).

Graham had a bunch of one-liners at the Reagan Library debate, so maybe he can find work at the comedy club in his home state of South Carolina. And he will always have a key job on Capitol Hill: carrying McCain’s water.

Mike Huckabee
He may have done well in Iowa in 2008, but he’s going nowhere fast this time around. Sure, he’s at 4.8 percent in the RCP average, but his lackluster performance in the previoius debate left him with no buzz. It’s clear he has no intention of criticizing any of his fellow GOP candidates (calling Jeb Bush “my good friend”), so he should abandon his run and spend all his time denouncing the Donor Class.

Or the former Arkansas governor could hang around at courthouses and hold press conferences whenever a clerk gets released from jail, like a BizarroWorld Al Sharpton. Back to TV for him or, better, radio.

Rick Santorum
No amount of stops at the Pizza Ranches in Iowa are going to turn the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania’s campaign around this time, and he’s already done the whole sweater-vest thing. Yes, he won Iowa last time around, but everything has changed now. He’s at 0.8 percent in the RCP polls — and that’s with already having hit all 99 counties in Iowa this year.

The country has moved. It’s time Rick did, too. But while he should drop out, he does have a big-money backer, so he will likely keep eating pizza across Iowa, at least until the caucuses next year.

Bobby Jindal
The Louisiana governor is another who’s train has sailed. He flirted with a run last time, when party bigwigs were pushing him, or anyone, to go against Mitt Romney, but his stock is worthless now.

One of the brighter and more conservative candidates in the GOP, Jindal can’t help but sound desperate whenever he gets his turn at the mic. But he, too, might just be looking for a cabinet spot, so perhaps he’ll snag one.

Chances are, though, that this is the last you’ll be hearing of Jindal. A day late, a dollar short.